Remains of 15th-century hospital uncovered during construction of Madrid Apple Store

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,784member
    Almost every old rat infested, ready to fall down building in this town is a registered historic site that cannot be altered, but must be if used for a home or business brought back to code, but at the same time preserved historically correct.    This is the main reason there are no new businesses here in Weaverville, CA on top of all the other regulations piled on people trying to do any thing.  
    It is sad to think you can do more in a socialist country than here.

    Perhaps some education on European politics would help your obvious complete lack of comprehension of the subject.
  • Reply 22 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,784member
    rcfa wrote: »
    If putting citizens before special interests qualifies as "socialist" you might be right, although that's not how socialist is defined.
    There is a big difference between "social" and "socialist", which seems to elude people here in the US.
    The overall state quota isn't fundamentally different in western countries, it's just that in Western Europe the government is involved in infrastructure and healthcare and in the US it's spying and the military...

    Western Europe is as "socialist" as the US is "militarist, fascist, imperialist".

    I'm not saying the US necessarily qualifies for that description, but if you define "socialist" so loosely as to make Western Europe qualify, then using similarly loose definitions, the US certainly would qualify for the other three terms.

    If you're willing to accept one, you've got to accept the other, and certainly one would have to stop calling China "communist", because it's truly "fascist" in anything but the name of the ruling party.

    Excellent post. Unfortunately the very people who should learn from your post also think Wikipedia is an evil, left wing web site. They get all their knowledge from Fox News and sadly, you are preaching to the choir.
  • Reply 23 of 34
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post





    I don't know of any socialist country in Western Europe, Spain is a constitutional Monarchy. Socialist countries of Western Europe are a figment of imagination and propaganda in the minds of the US right wing political fringe.


     


    Being a Constitutional Monarchy only means that they have a King/Queen who operate as heads of state within the constraints of a constitution, ie they don't have absolute power. That doesn't exclude socialism.


     


    All of the Nordic countries currently operate on socialist principles of more-or-less collective ownership and wealth redistribution although they all use a mixed-model with capitalist elements obviously (also known as "The Nordic Model". Norway, Sweden and Denmark are all also Constitutional Monarchies. Plenty of other European countries operate on similar concepts. That's why taxes in Europe are so much higher than in the States.


     


    Socialism as a word has been demonized by corporate America for a long time, and has been an argument for Republicans and Democrats alike to keep minimum wages, welfare, public healthcare, public education and pretty much everything else that costs rich people more money than they want to spend off the table.

  • Reply 24 of 34
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post



    Western Europe is as "socialist" as the US is "militarist, fascist, imperialist".



     


    Actually, the US is militarist and imperialist, and more so than any other country in the past 50 years.

  • Reply 25 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    I guess now Apple will accused of destroying Spanish artifacts. Seems only right when Apple does anything these days.

     

    Not destroying... "price fixing" them...

     

     

    Wait... too soon?
  • Reply 26 of 34
    freshmakerfreshmaker Posts: 532member
    They used to treat plague victims there? COOL! I wonder if the Apple store will be haunted now. That would be awesome. Walk by one of the tables and a couple of iPads start levitating.
  • Reply 27 of 34
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     


    If they had been found by the back door, picked clean, then it would have been a government tax office building... 



    Says the person posting on the internet made possible by those very tax dollars.

  • Reply 28 of 34
    Those ruins better not have rounded corners!
    Imagine the accumulated damages Spain would owe Apple.
    =0
  • Reply 29 of 34
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    superbass wrote: »
    rcfa wrote: »
    I don't know of any socialist country in Western Europe, Spain is a constitutional Monarchy. Socialist countries of Western Europe are a figment of imagination and propaganda in the minds of the US right wing political fringe.

    Being a Constitutional Monarchy only means that they have a King/Queen who operate as heads of state within the constraints of a constitution, ie they don't have absolute power. That doesn't exclude socialism.

    I think Marx and just about any other real socialist would disagree. To have such a reactionary institution function as head of state, particularly with all the pomp, display of wealth, and aristocratic/grand-bougeois value display, is not congruent with socialist values.

    Again, there's a difference between social and socialist. Germany, e.g. has a "social market-economy" not a "socialist market-economy"
    superbass wrote: »
    That's why taxes in Europe are so much higher than in the States.

    That's another myth, or at least, it's not that clear cut as most people think it is: The tax structure is quite different, so depending on the assets you hold and the sources and level of income, different places can offer considerably better deals than the US. As a percentage of GDP, the US taxes are low, that's true, but the US has also one of the highest government debts as relative to the GDP, and government debt is nothing but deferred taxation. Federal Debt as % of GDP is about 75%, but once you add state and local debts, the US debt levels come dangerously close to those of Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc.
  • Reply 30 of 34
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post



     As a percentage of GDP, the US taxes are low, that's true, but the US has also one of the highest government debts as relative to the GDP, and government debt is nothing but deferred taxation. Federal Debt as % of GDP is about 75%, but once you add state and local debts, the US debt levels come dangerously close to those of Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc.


     


    That's an unfair comparison because local and state debts are often incurred to intentionally defer taxation as to be more fair. For example, a state gets a bond to build a highway and pays for that highway over 30 years. That is more aligned with the benefits over the lifetime of the road, rather than taxing the people who happen to live in the state on the day they build the road. A school bond is also a good example of this.


     


    Also, it's not all taxation. For example, a local public University got a mortgage to build new dorms. That is counted as state debt (and enjoys taxation benefits as such), but it will be paid solely by the students who will live in the dorms over the life of the debt. Similar examples are things like toll roads, toll bridges, housing projects, things like water infrastructure, etc.

  • Reply 31 of 34
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    konqerror wrote: »
    rcfa wrote: »
    <span style="line-height:1.231;"> As a percentage of GDP, the US taxes are low, that's true, but the US has also one of the highest government debts as relative to the GDP, and government debt is nothing but deferred taxation. Federal Debt as % of GDP is about 75%, but once you add state and local debts, the US debt levels come dangerously close to those of Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc.</span>

    That's an unfair comparison because local and state debts are often incurred to intentionally defer taxation as to be more fair. For example, a state gets a bond to build a highway and pays for that highway over 30 years. That is more aligned with the benefits over the lifetime of the road, rather than taxing the people who happen to live in the state on the day they build the road. A school bond is also a good example of this.

    Also, it's not all taxation. For example, a local public University got a mortgage to build new dorms. That is counted as state debt (and enjoys taxation benefits as such), but it will be paid solely by the students who will live in the dorms over the life of the debt. Similar examples are things like toll roads, toll bridges, housing projects, things like water infrastructure, etc.

    While there is some merit to what you write, there are two issues with it:
    a) since the number of projects a pubic entity of reasonable size has is large, the costs average out. So e.g. this year it's this street, next year that bridge, then that hospital, etc. So if debt were just used to average out the tax burden, it would be a lot lower.

    b) nothing of what you mention is specific to the US, so if 100% plus of GDP is OK for the US, it should be OK for Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc. Obviously the financial markets, to a good degree driven by US interests, decided it's not OK. (So maybe all the ruckus about European debt is just a maneuver to deflect from the US public debt, after all...)
  • Reply 32 of 34
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rcfa View Post





    While there is some merit to what you write, there are two issues with it:

    a) since the number of projects a pubic entity of reasonable size has is large, the costs average out. So e.g. this year it's this street, next year that bridge, then that hospital, etc. So if debt were just used to average out the tax burden, it would be a lot lower.



    b) nothing of what you mention is specific to the US, so if 100% plus of GDP is OK for the US, it should be OK for Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc. Obviously the financial markets, to a good degree driven by US interests, decided it's not OK. (So maybe all the ruckus about European debt is just a maneuver to deflect from the US public debt, after all...)


     


    To respond to a, you have to realize it is very difficult for the government to adjust their revenue and tax rates on the fly. It is not politically possible for them to say that this year they're increasing tax rates by even 10% because it happened that a bunch of roads needed repair. You wouldn't like it because suddenly you're down thousands of dollars from your paycheck. This is even harder for cities to do because they are reliant on sales tax revenue which is limited in how much you can adjust up due to, among other things, its regressive nature. Another problem is that if governments are good and responsive, they build for the future. If more people are anticipated to live somewhere, they need to build more roads in advance. In this case you'd be overtaxing the current tax base for services that other people will need.


     


    The problem with B is that the debt in Europe is held by specific national governments. A huge issue is that one entity, the Greek government for example, is deeply in debt, and a lot of people have money invested in it, directly or indirectly, essentially a "too big to fail" situation. On the other hand, state, county and city debt is spread out over a large number of independent entities. In the example I gave, the public University's housing department has its own authority to issue debt, and its own credit rating. It could go bankrupt tomorrow and would have a trivial impact on markets as a whole.

  • Reply 33 of 34
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    konqerror wrote: »
    rcfa wrote: »
    While there is some merit to what you write, there are two issues with it:

    a) since the number of projects a pubic entity of reasonable size has is large, the costs average out. So e.g. this year it's this street, next year that bridge, then that hospital, etc. So if debt were just used to average out the tax burden, it would be a lot lower.


    b) nothing of what you mention is specific to the US, so if 100% plus of GDP is OK for the US, it should be OK for Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, etc. Obviously the financial markets, to a good degree driven by US interests, decided it's not OK. (So maybe all the ruckus about European debt is just a maneuver to deflect from the US public debt, after all...)

    To respond to a, you have to realize it is very difficult for the government to adjust their revenue and tax rates on the fly. It is not politically possible for them to say that this year they're increasing tax rates by even 10% because it happened that a bunch of roads needed repair. You wouldn't like it because suddenly you're down thousands of dollars from your paycheck. This is even harder for cities to do because they are reliant on sales tax revenue which is limited in how much you can adjust up due to, among other things, its regressive nature. Another problem is that if governments are good and responsive, they build for the future. If more people are anticipated to live somewhere, they need to build more roads in advance. In this case you'd be overtaxing the current tax base for services that other people will need.

    The problem with B is that the debt in Europe is held by specific national governments. A huge issue is that one entity, the Greek government for example, is deeply in debt, and a lot of people have money invested in it, directly or indirectly, essentially a "too big to fail" situation. On the other hand, state, county and city debt is spread out over a large number of independent entities. In the example I gave, the public University's housing department has its own authority to issue debt, and its own credit rating. It could go bankrupt tomorrow and would have a trivial impact on markets as a whole.

    As to a): there are very few giant projects. Most government expenses are well budgetable and average out, simply due to the number of projects. Road upkeep e.g. is a constant thing, and the number of repairs in each year can be adjusted by deferring or preventive maintenance to keep yearly expenses in the same range. Tax rates would hardly fluctuate in a significant way due to minor annual fluctuations. The only time that sort of issue would arise is after a major natural disaster when unexpectedly high costs arise. Averaging things out does not necessitate the kind of debt levels we have in the US.

    As to b): no, the debt in Europe isn't any different than the US debt. In both cases the statistics look at overall public debt, and in either case, it's not one monolithic debtor.
    However, in just about any country lower levels need to get bailed out by higher levels. Just as here when a community goes belly up, the state steps in, and when states have issues the federal government comes to aid, the same is true in Europe. And that's why neither here nor there public debt can't be ignored. There are no different rules here or there.
  • Reply 34 of 34
    eye forgeteye forget Posts: 154member
    Many if the comments here display a disturbing lack of knowledge Americans have about everyday events in Europe and history. Viewing the world through American glasses does you all a big disservice.
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